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This was a confusing episode. There was plenty of action, there were promising flourishes, but ultimately it fell a little flat by the end. Some scenes were tense and engaging but others were undermined by silly errors and inconsistencies that could have easily have been avoided.

Morgan’s character is in a downward spiral, and I simply don’t enjoy his screen-time anymore. The scenes where he is quite literally “haunted” are just boring and unoriginal at this stage. If I didn’t have to write this blog, I’d likely fast-forward through them.

One of the most troubling inconsistencies is Maggie’s pregnancy: her bump has barely grown but her hair has grown several inches since the end of season 6. When are they going to address this??

That silly remark aside, some of Maggie’s scenes were the best in the episode and she is really growing into her role as Leader of the Hilltop. While her plans didn’t reap the rewards she had hoped for, she constructed a plan and executed it well, genuinely catching Simon and the Saviours by surprise. Unfortunately for our heroes, it seemed they didn’t dispose of as many Saviours as the early scenes suggested, because by the time the Saviours “big plan” was revealed, I felt like the Hilltop lost more of their men than she Saviours.

Perhaps I don’t strive to connect the dots like I used to, or perhaps I was just a little slow last night, but I had forgotten about the Saviours plan to weaponize the Walker blood. I think it is a clever idea but it did lead on to another big issue: how did the slow-shuffling, gargling Walkers manage to creep up and dispose of so many Hilltop residents? They are not exactly known for their stealth tactics, “The Walking Dead” is famous for the white noise of Zombie gargling that punctuates every episode. The Walkers created a considerable amount of carnage but the scene just did not make any sense within the context of the world the writers have constructed. Yes, there was a shock element in that the Hilltop residents had no reason to expect their own people to turn. But how did the Walkers manage to “creep up” and manage to take out *that* many of them?

The scene where the boy unlocks the prisoners was quite literally enraging. That was a disappointing example of thoroughly lazy, sloppy writing. Yes he’s just a child, but he isn’t so young, he’s spent a large part of his life living through this zombie apocalypse. He certainly knows better given the fact he obviously doesn’t trust any of the prisoners. To say nothing of the fact that he didn’t need to unlock the gate to shoot them! It’s an open-wire fence! Details such as these make it feel like some of the episode is written in a rush. It just isn’t good enough.

Stray thoughts: Daryl looks as good as ever on his bike, shooting down saviours with a “cool” that no other character can really muster. We get Negan back next week. I am genuinely looking forward to that now we know Jadis has captured him. I look forward to that, and hastily try to forget my rage at last night’s episode. Onwards and upwards.

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